Monday, September 29, 2008

Kristol kibitzes

I get annoyed when Bill Kristol uses his New York Times column as a platform to offer unsolicited advice to the McCain campaign. If you want to be a campaign consultant, go be a campaign consultant, but don't try to run a presidential campaign from the op-ed page.

Despite my annoyance at his campaign kibitzing, Kristol actually has some good stuff today:
The core case against Obama is pretty simple: he’s too liberal. A few months ago I asked one of McCain’s aides what aspect of Obama’s liberalism they thought they could most effectively exploit. He looked at me as if I were a simpleton, and patiently explained that talking about "conservatism" and "liberalism" was so old-fashioned.
This echoes my own observation that McCain has never been good at partisan politics. As hawkish as he is on foreign policy, McCain advocates unilateral disarmament in politics, and would prefer to run a post-partisan, post-ideological campaign. (Steve Schmidt surely finds himself frustrated by this tendency.) Kristol sees an opening:
[T]he fact is the only Democrats to win the presidency in the past 40 years -- Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton -- distanced themselves from liberal orthodoxy. Obama is, by contrast, a garden-variety liberal. He also has radical associates in his past.
From there, Kristol goes on to advise that Team Obama has created an opening for the McCain campaign to inject the Rev. Jeremiah Wright into the argument. And here, of course, is the problem: The best campaign attack is a surprise attack, and it's kind of hard to catch liberals by surprise with an attack that's already been outlined on the op-ed page of the New York Times.


  1. The core case against Obama is even simplier than that: He's not even a full-fledged American.

    That's right. Newsbusters this morning, highlights the OBAMA WEBSITE admitting that he was a citizen of Kenya til 1982.

    I really hope that the conservative media is not going to wimp out on this breaking story.

    Once again, it may be left up to us libertarians to expose the truth.

  2. If the post-partisan answer was anything other than an Imperial Socialist Fed, one might warm to it.

  3. I think there's a difference between having dual citizenship and not being a "full-fledged" American. I seriously doubt undecided voters would respond to that issue the way its proponents expect.

    The core case against Obama is that he's doing his level best to conceal where he really stands, substantively, on damn near everything. There are two ways to attack this: Pin him down on those issues where he has said or done something that contradicts his campauign rhetoric, or portray him as empty precisely because his campaign rhetoric is so empty.

    I would prefer the latter, since it puts him in a position of having to respond to the emptiness charge, and how would he do that except by opening himself to the pin him down attack?

  4. Eric, if one of his parents is American then by law he is granted US citzenship, no? He is by birthright an American.
    And I really don't know if McCain wants to open that can considering he was born in Panama. It's an argument that will go nowhere fast.
    As far as Kristol goes, he's in full throttle CYA mode as it was his idea to select Palin for VP. I don't know what went on behind the scenes but he was a big proponent of Palin's. Now with a Right Wing barrage of Palin attacks, he might be trying to fix the McCain campaign problems by offering unsolicited advice.